How to survive summer as a single-mom!
“What are we doing today mom? What have you planned for me?”
This is the cute –not so cute voice of my son, early in the morning at 6. 30 a.m in August! I am sure this is so familiar for a lot of you mommies out there! Especially if you have an 8-year-old son who likes to play non-stop 24/7 and needs to have a ‘plan’ for every day of the summer vacations! Well, I have good news for you mothers and single-moms like myself! There is a plan and we are nailing it! Result? Happy and excited kids!
Being a single-mom for the past 4 years has taught me a lot! Especially to always have a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C of the Plan B if Plan A doesn’t work well! You know what I mean…
This year I prepared myself! It is true that I have been travelling a lot because of my work and I really wanted to spend quality time with my little one. Well schools closed while I was still working at the office so I had to have our afternoons planned. The fact that he was attending Summer School daily for 5 weeks did not matter of course. There were so many hours until we went to bed and we needed to do things but we also needed to do more things when I was actually on holiday from work. And I think I did it! I think I have managed to combine a trip to Greece with a few weeks spend home. The challenge was to find interesting and exciting things to do while we stayed at our hometown.
So, I decided to share with you a few of my tips and experiences of how we managed to make this summer fun and we are still going strong on all of our activities and social life! (Mind you it is 6a.m now that I am writing this and my precious little boy is sleeping still! Hopefully he will wake up around 7a.m! Fingers crossed as I need to finish this article!)
- Exercise: Make sure that during the year or at least a couple of months before summer holidays you have taken the time to work out by exercising in any way you prefer so as to build that stamina that you will so much need to be able to participate in most activities!
- Homework: For the days that you are on holiday but not actually travelling abroad make sure you have done your homework before hand so you know what thrilling activities you can do in your town or at places within a driving distance of approximately an hour – more than that the car gets really ‘boring’.
- Water-parks: During the weekends visiting our local water-parks is really the thing we like to do. Mind you that we like to organize a large group of friends with other mommies and usually we spend the day there. It is a place which they never get bored! Even for us adults it is fun! But trust me, you will need all the stamina you can get because going up and down the slides never stops! Literally never stops! Until you offer them ice-cream! There you can have a ten-minute break to catch your breath. The good thing though is that you burn calories!
- Cinema: Going to the cinema is something we love doing and especially now that our city has a summer cinema. Watching ‘Lion King’ for example under the starry sky and eating popcorn with extra butter is something so ‘wow’. It is also a nice way to ‘cool down’ after our busy Sunday which we usually spend with friends at the swimming pool of a nearby hotel where the kids can play, eat and connect with other children from all over the world, practicing their English as well. (we have to find the educational benefit at all times I suppose)
- Sleepovers: This is such a great idea! I do not know who invented sleepovers – in my time we used to call them pyjama parties – but they are the most exciting thing for the kids. I have never seen my son pack his bag so quickly to go to his best friend’s house to stay for the night. This is a great plan since the children are in a safe environment with people that you know best and within a short distance of our home.
- Tourists: Visiting another city and staying there for a night has been so exciting for the past few months. We are the tourists in our own country. The whole process of packing and going to a hotel to stay anywhere in the country puts a big smile on my son’s face. ‘I love hotels’ he usually says and I am kind of ‘OK now did you actually take that from your mommy?’ The fact that it is just us for the 24 or 48 hours that we will visit a place and together we need to find things to do and places to see strengthens our bond. You know even when we go out with other moms and friends, our kids are not actually with us or even talking to us besides when ‘mommy I need the toilet’ or ‘mommy I am thirsty’ or ‘when is the food coming, I am hungry’ so having the chance to spend all this precious time together it is really important.
- Home DIY: I don’t want to sound as if I am the kind of mom that spends a fortune on going out and travelling all the time since there are plenty of things to do at home as well. Our home is always full of kids, my son’s friends. Playing in the backyard or giving them a painting challenge, making ice-cream or even baking cookies makes those hot afternoons seem a lot cooler and me being a ‘cool’ mom! It also helps the other working moms and together we support each other when one is busy or has to work till late.
- Video Games Vs Board Games: You simply cannot avoid them! I tried to play dumb but I could not get away with it! They will pin you down and you will at least play ‘Fifa19’ not knowing which buttons to press on that joystick – which becomes very stressful – and you will shamelessly loose with a score of something like 19-0 and the comment ‘Oh my gosh mom, really you haven’t got a clue! I think you are much better at reading your books.’ You cannot avoid them playing video games but the best thing is to have a time limit. It could be an hour every day while actually spend hours playing chess or other simple board games like Monopoly or even UNO.
- Books: Speaking about reading books, make sure you always have one in your bag (as well as extra t-shirts, baby wipes etc.) since attending indoors playgrounds where kids can play, enjoy bowling or do other activities are quite popular and cool literally. When I volunteer to take my son’s friends to the indoors playground on the days that other moms work it is always a pleasure to see them actually play, run and shout for hours while I am enjoying a good cup of coffee with my book. Now you might wonder how on earth can you read a book in a noisy indoors playground…Well, it is called ‘selective hearing’. J Reading bedtime stories is also our ritual for the night so as to relax and sleep tight.
- Vitamin Sea: Last but not least! Living on an island and with just 10 minutes away from the beach how can we not go swimming. Building castles in the sand and burying each other in the sand is an all-time classic that makes the beach more fun. Lately we go snorkeling which we both love. My father taught me and now I am teaching my son. I find it very important for him to be able to enjoy the underwater world and familiarize with what is under the sea without being afraid of rocks or seaweed.
There is a lot to do in the summer with your child! I tried to summarize our top 10 activities and I am sure you all have a lot more to share. Please feel free to email me or comment below on my social media adding your ideas and suggestions. It will be interesting to start a summer interaction with mommies from all over the world so as to find out more about how we spend our summertime with our amazing children!
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